Melissa Fumero – Brooklyn Nine-Nine
By: Lisa Steinberg
Q) What is new this season on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” and with your character Santiago?
A) So much that I can’t really say! But I can say, Season 5 is very exciting and the scripts have been SO funny. There is a lot of character growth with everyone this season and I am loving it and can’t wait for fans of the show to see it all unfold.
Q) Was there anything you added to the role that wasn’t originally described to you?
A) Amy wasn’t described as very nervous and awkward in the original character description and I think I was such a nervous mess while shooting the pilot and the writers just picked up on it. I also think once they discovered how funny the nervous Amy/Holt combo was, that really cemented it as a character trait of Amy.
Q) What challenges you the most about playing Santiago?
A) Honestly, she is so Type-A and high energy that sometimes she just plain exhausts me. Especially in earlier seasons when Amy had scenes with Holt where she’s really trying to impress him, I would literally sweat during the scenes.
Q) What has been your favorite part of Amy’s character development throughout the seasons?
A) I have loved seeing Amy grow in her confidence. She will always be kind of awkward, and not clued into a lot of social dynamics, but I feel like she is more accepting of herself now.
Q) With such a large cast, is there anyone you don’t get to work with much that you’d like to see Amy have more scenes with?
A) Not really. I really feel like I get great screen time with everyone now and it’s really wonderful. Of course, I’m always pushing for more Rosa/Amy/Gina scenes in general because I love these female friendships and I think it’s important to show them every chance we get.
Q) Jake and Santiago have this great dynamic that balances each other so well. What are the personal and professional obstacles they face this season?
A) Well, Jake is fun, spontaneous and pretty immature. While Amy is fun too, she is very mature and very Type-A so that opposites attract dynamic will always provide obstacles for them, but it’s also how they work. She makes him more serious and he makes her less so. I love that dynamic and I think the show will continue to explore it like they did last year, for instance, when Amy was nervous to take the Sergeants exam because she thought it would effect their relationship negatively if she became Jake’s boss.
Q) Each year fans look forward to the Halloween themed episodes. What can you tease about this year’s costumes/cases?
A) It’s the biggest Halloween we’ve ever done and no one will be able to predict the winner.
Q) There have been so many great guest stars in the past. Is there anyone you can share we’ll be seeing this season or someone maybe you’d love to have as a guest star?
A) Some exciting returning guest stars, I can’t say who…and some really exciting new ones, I can’t say who. Who would I love?! Amy Poehler or Will Ferrell would possibly make me unable to do my job.
Q) You have great comedic timing. Is it a natural ability to you or have you had to work at it?
A) Both. I’ve always enjoyed making people laugh, but I’ve also had to hone my skills in acting class and improv classes. And I still, most days, don’t always know what the most funny choice for a scene or a line is, but I’m always up for trying it a bunch of different ways till one feels right …or makes our camera guys laugh.
Q) What do you think it is about the series that has made it such a fan favorite?
A) I think we don’t dumb our audience down and we have a good mix of broad and high comedy on “Brooklyn Nine-Nine.” We’re always aiming for scenes to feel really honest while also being really funny. And I think our cast is magical. We all really love each other and I think it elevates the work and people can feel that when they watch the show.
Q) You are a part of social media. Do you enjoy the instant fan feedback you receive to episodes?
A) I do! It’s so fun to see what jokes get the most tweets each week and how fans respond to surprises or big character moments. I really enjoy it.
Q) What would you like to say to everyone who continues to be a fan and supporter of you and your work?
A) Well, anyone that takes time out of their busy lives to watch anything I’m in is amazing. And then when they also enjoy it and go out of their way to tell their friends about it or reach out on social media or write about it I would just like to say THANK YOU. Your viewership enables me to do what I love and I will always be grateful for that.